BySamuel Trilling, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Covid-19 could hamper the EPA’s ability to inform communities of health risks, according to a report released this month from the agency’s Office of Inspector General. Specifically, the inspector general’s office worried the EPA might not be able to inform residents who live near facilities with emissions that could cause cancer. In a separate report from late March, the office urged EPA to take “prompt action” to inform communities. As of the March report, the EPA and state agencies had not met with or reached out to residents around 16 of the 25 “high-priority” facilities, which are located primarily around cities in the South and Midwest. The June report detailed other concerns, including personnel shortages and cutbacks to routine inspections.
A new report published by several state environmental groups shows severe pollution of groundwater at nearly every known coal ash storage site in Illinois.
The report states that groundwater tests show unsafe levels of toxic chemicals and heavy metals at 22 of 24 Illinois coal-fired power plants. The tests were done by the companies that own the sites, collated by the environmental groups, and released this week.
Damage from coal ash disposal sites has become a growing concern in recent years after several spectacular disasters. Here's what we know about the damage to human health and the environment from large coal ash spills, and the costs of cleanup, from two disasters in the past decade.
San Jose and Spokane have filed lawsuits seeking damages associated from chemical pollution allegedly caused decades ago by a former version of the agribusiness giant Monsanto. The two public nuisance lawsuits claim the seed company should be on the hook for water contamination costs related to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.
In December of 2013, the Government Accountability Office released a report that highlighted a flawed Environmental Protection Agency water-conservation program. It also summarized the overall state of U.S. water bodies.
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting used the report to jump start an investigation into how the agriculture industry affects water quality
As the global demand for food rises, farmers have to accordingly increase production. However, in some cases, that increased production can be harmful for the environment. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office provided a glimpse of the state of U.S. water bodies. Among its findings, the report stated that it would take one thousand years to reverse the damage done by agricultural runoff and other forms of nonpoint-source pollution.